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FilmCraft: Producing

FilmCraft: Producing

Release Date: 
Thursday, January 3, 2013
# of Pages: 

Warner Bros. wanted Warren Beatty for the lead in 'Wall Street' but producer Edward R. Pressman and director Oliver Stone pushed for relative unknown Michael Douglas to star. They got their wish.

First, let me say that this is a text book, not a "book" book. That said, it is the first time we are reviewing a text book on Shakefire so if it seems a little odd, it is. We are covering this for two reasons: 1) It's a text book for film students so it folds in nicely to our content and 2) it was sent to us for review and it's rare that we turn anything away for coverage.

The funny thing about this book is that, even though it's a text book, it actually works better as an informative coffee table book. As a text book, it really doesn't do a fantastic job of teaching as it does giving you a lot of random bits of information and entertaining trivia.

The book features some writings from an impressive array of producers that have worked on movies as expansive as Titanic, The Hunger Games, Babel, Transformers, Trainspotting and The Wolverine. Each producer tells their story of struggles, successes and those films that fall somewhere in between. The lessons they learned are valuable, even if they are unrealistic to duplicate. Each section is well written and they didn't skimp on the movie stills and unique behind the scenes photos.

But, again, other than teaching you some history behind some of the biggest (and smallest) productions of the past quarter century, it doesn't really give you a lot of information that could help you in your producing ventures.

As a coffee table book, it's excellent. As a text book? Not so much. Since the price more reflects a coffee table book rather than the inflated costs of a text, I am grading it as such.


Responsible for hiring all members of cast and crew from the director onwards, the producer’s role is central to the making of any film and responsibilities can include everything from script development to securing financing to masterminding a film’s marketing campaign. While few film producers are household names, they wield a degree of control that only the biggest name directors can aspire to. As with all of the FilmCraft titles, this book is based on new indepth interviews and features such greats as Tim Bevan, Marin Karmitz, Jeremy Thomas, Jon Kilik, Lauren Shuler Donner, Jan Chapman, and Peter Aalbæk Jensen.

Peter Oberth
Review by Peter Oberth
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